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Big XII Football 2010: Year of the Running Back?

2009 was the year of the Quarterback in the Big XII but is 2010 the year of the Running Back? After one week, it sure looks like it.  3 of the top 4 Division I Rushing Leaders are from the Big XII. Together, they rushed for almost 700 yards - in one week. We've said our goodbyes to McCoy, Bradford and Robinson. Now I'd like everyone to give a warm welcome to Kendall Hunter, Daniel Thomas and Demarco Murray - among others...

Week 1 Ranking

1. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State -  257 yards, 4TD's on 21 carries

Hunter played one half of football and he outgained everyone in the country.  I'm honestly in disbelief that there is a "Co" in front of the Big 12 offensive player of the week award this week. Hands down the most badass performance by a running back that I've seen in a long, long time. I absolutley cannot wait to watch this guy build on these numbers each week.

2. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State - 234 yards, 2TD's on 28 carries

 There's no question that this guy is a stud, but I don't think even he would say he was on the same level as Hunter last Saturday. Regardless, this guy is a beast and he'll be fun to watch this year.  Oklahoma State's trip to Manhattan in late October could honestly feature 2 Heisman candidates.

3. Demarco Murray, Oklahoma - 218 yards,  2 TD's on 35 carries

A solid performance on 35 carries but he'll have to do better than a 6.2 YPC average to move in front of Thomas or Hunter. Madu is back this week  against Florida State, so it will be interestig to see how the carries are split up, and how Murray responds.

4. Christine Michael, Texas A&M - 105 yards, 2 TD's on 22 carries

The Big 12 Freshman of the year last year rushed for 844 yards and 10 TD's. He's in a tandem with Cyrus Gray and has the potential to be a 1000 yard rusher. We'll keep an eye on it...

5. Tre Newton, Texas - 61 yards, 3TD's on 18 carries

Newton didn't actually start the game against Rice, but he's been named the starter this week against Wyoming. The YPC isn't great, and Cody Johnson will be in the mix when he's healthy again - but you can't ignore the 3 TD's.

6. Alexander Robinson, Iowa State - 97 yards, TD  on 21 carries

Not a great opening game. Most of his yards came on a 63 yard TD run but it was an impressive performance nonetheless. If his QB can get the passing game going and open up some running room, this guy could be something special.

7. Jay Finley, Baylor - 51 yards, TD on 6 carries

When you have a QB like Griffin who leads the team in rushing, it's hard to make a splash. Finley gave it his all last week though with 6 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. A pretty solid YPC average. Now if he can only get more carries...

8. Roy Helu, Nebraska - 29 yards, TD on 5 carries

Not a great start for Helu, but he has the potential to be a monster. He had over 1000 yards in 2009. He's sharing time with Rex Burkhead, so although the Nebraska running game as a whole could be strong, Helu's numbers could be watered down.

9. De'Vion Moore, Missouri - 78 yards on 16 carries

Not much to say about 78 yards on 16 carries

10. Rodney Stewart, Colorado - 67 yards on 16 carries

...or 67 yards on 16 carries

11. Baron Batch/Eric Stephens Texas Tech - 87 yards, 1 TD on 24 carries COMBINED

There's a two headed rushing attack in Lubbock - and it's terrible.

12. Daymond Patterson, Kansas - 66 yards on 3 carries

North. Dakota. State.